5 tasks for when your sick child comes home from school

Children are exposed to germs every day at school and during activities, and they can get sick even when parents take preventive measures. As parents, we’ve all had days when we had to pick up a sick child from school. Whether it’s a case of the stomach flu or strep throat, spending time with your sick child can leave you feeling helpless. Here are five things to do when you pick up your child to make the day easier:

1. Prioritize comfort

When your child is sick, the first step of making your child feel comfortable is getting home as soon as possible. Offer the child a blanket, pillow and cool drink for the car ride home. If your vehicle is equipped with a DVD player, turn on a favorite movie to help distract from the illness.

2. Offer distractions

Often, despite best attempts to comfort a sick child, they continue to feel miserable. Sick children can often be grumpy, unsettled and hard to please. In these cases, distractions can be used with great results. 5 things to do when you pick up a sick child from schoolThe opportunities for parents at home are limitless. An exclusive viewing of a movie, reading books, creating a bed fort, telling funny stories or playing a game of make-believe can do wonders to distract a sick child from immediate physical discomforts. Let your child be the guide; they’ll let you know what they feel like doing.

3. Replenish nutrients

Illnesses can drain sick children of energy, making them feel weak and tired. This is often due to dehydration and loss of appetite. According to a study published in the American Academy of Family Physicians, pediatric electrolyte replacement drinks and water are the best options to replace vital fluids and electrolytes lost during bouts of diarrhea and vomiting. Additionally, the BRAT diet – bananas, rice, applesauce and toast — is a bland diet that helps your child keep her strength up and fight illnesses without upsetting the stomach.

4. Encourage rest

Getting plenty of rest will soothe your sick child and help in recuperation, the American Academy of Pediatrics explained. Establish a place near you for your child to sleep and encourage naps. Avoid situations that may overstimulate your child or expose others to germs.

5. Avoid illness

Proper hygiene can prevent you and the rest of the family from acquiring the illness from your sick child. Practice proper hand-washing after tending to your child and using the restroom, and before touching food. Additionally, encourage your child to wash hands often and disinfect any toys or surfaces touched to decrease the chances of spreading the illness.

When it becomes apparent that you must pick up your child from school, use the time as an opportunity to bond. If you suspect that your child’s illness is persisting or getting worse, follow up with your child’s doctor.

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